Pre-Columbian elevation assisted indigenous American female master brewers -- there is no way I could overlook this story:
An ancient brewery from a vanished empire was staffed by elite women who were selected for their beauty or nobility, a new study concludes.
. . .
The brewery, on a mountaintop in southern Peru, cranked out hundreds of gallons of beer every week. The 1,000-year-old facility was part of the Wari empire, which predated the Incas.
No Reinheitsgebot for the Wari, of course. Their beer was made of corn and Peruvian pepper-tree berries. I expect to see a clone recipe in Zymurgy any month now.
Of course, I have to take any story about archaeologists' finds with a grain of salt, even though they are trained experts and I am not, when they start trying to project their findings into modern society. There are just a whole host of cultural assumptions this information is being filtered through. For example, what to make of this:
Bits of Wari society may have carried forward even to today, says Susan deFrance, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Florida. Modern Andean drinking culture is unlike many Western societies, in which women tend to drink less.
"There's a lot of equality in terms of how men and women drink in the highlands of Andes," deFrance said. "Women will get as rip-roaring drunk, if not more so, than men."
Maybe it is just the people I hang out with, but my reaction to this was: This is different from modern American society how? These recent finds about ancient Peruvian brewing culture are extremely interesting regardless of whether they shed light on alleged differences among modern cultures.